In 2001, GHEI’s founder and executive director Diana Rickard visited Ghana as a medical student to study the accessibility and quality of available healthcare services. During her visits, she worked hand-in-hand with local health professionals in both urban and rural health facilities, which is when she came to know the communities of the Bibiani-Anhwiawso-Bekwai (BAB) District in the Western Region of Ghana.
During her initial visits to communities in the BAB district, she met Clement Donkor, the then assemblyman of Humjibre, who as a lifelong resident of this community, provided an in-depth understanding to the context of rural livelihoods, the educational systems, and healthcare. It was this meeting that was the impetus for the Ghana Health and Education Initiative (GHEI).
Since its inception in 2001, GHEI has reached several milestones, the most notable are detailed below.
GHEI’s founder and executive director Diana Rickard visited Ghana as a medical student and meets Clement Donkor, Humjibre's then assemblyman, who offered to locally spearhead projects.
Project work starts with a reproductive health program and the Youth Education Program to teach gifted children in an after-school program.
A needs assessment was conducted in Humjibre to determine if there was a gap in services to this community. The result was clear and GHEI was established to provide educational and health services to the people of Humjibre and surrounding communities.
Construction of the community center is completed and a small library is opened; summer volunteer programs are launched; and Clement becomes GHEI's first full time employee.
Additional library space is needed, so a larger library is built, along with a classroom.
The Malaria Prevention Program is expanded to two additional villages; the Early Childhood Literacy program is launched; library collection triples to over 4,000 books.
In partnership with UCLA's pediatric program, GHEI begins neonatal resuscitation trainings in BAB District, and launches a program to encourage women to deliver at health facilities.
The Mother Mentor Program launches.
The GHEI logo was created using Adinkra symbols, originally developed by the Asantes in Ghana during the 19th century. Each traditional symbol represents an aspect of life on which the organization focuses.